He cannot be my disciple ...
Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. ... So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
This passage reminds us all that, while salvation is absolutely free, discipleship can cost us everything. For sure Jesus is speaking in hyperbole here - he does not actually desire us to hate our relatives.. he wants us to love even our enemies. He speaks in such a fashion to draw our attention to the preeminence of Christ in every aspect of our lives. We cannot claim to be his followers if another relationship is more important than our relationship with Jesus.
What do you think he means when he speaks of bearing our own cross? Interesting to note that he uses the word "own" indicating that the cross will look different for each of us. Biblical commentator John Gill says of our own cross that "it signifies whatever is trying and disagreeable to flesh and blood". The call to discipleship is a call to persevere in the face of adversity and trials. This call is what defines a disciple. Jesus lived it our graphically in his last hours.
Lord help us to persevere and keep you preeminent in every part of our lives. You are worthy.